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Air Force Can Not Keep Up With BYU As Falcons Fall 76-66

(Sports Network) - Jimmer Fredette led all scorers with 22 points as No. 15 BYU downed Air Force, 76-66, at Marriott Center.

Noah Hartsock posted 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars (16-1, 2-0 MWC), winners of six straight games. Brandon Davies added 10 points and six boards.

"It was a hard fought game but we were well prepared and we played hard," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "Air Force is a very physical team. They sped us up a little bit and we didn't shoot the ball as well as we are capable of but it was another one of those games where our guys found a way to win and that's really important."

Michael Lyons notched 14 points and Mike Fitzgerald added 13 for the Falcons (10-5, 1-1), who saw a two-game win streak snapped.

BYU bolted out to a 48-33 advantage less than three minutes into the second half as Fredette drained a trey to cap an 11-3 run.

Logan Magnusson then hit from long distance and the home team led 57-40, and the visitors weren't able to shrink their deficit below double digits until two Shawn Hempsey free throws made it 65-56 with 4:24 to play.

Hartsock connected from long distance inside of two minutes left to get BYU's margin to 72-61 and Air Force was finally subdued.

"Going into the game we wanted to keep it close and be in it down the stretch and I thought we did that," said Air Force head coach Jeff Reynolds. "We had it within 10 with six or seven minutes left and just couldnt close the gap."

A Fitzgerald trey gave the Falcons a 10-9 lead roughly 5 1/2 minutes in, but two free throws from Davies ended an 11-4 run that saw the Cougars lead 20-13.

Hartsock's jumper with 4:25 left in the half boosted BYU to a 31-19 edge to cap an 11-3 burst, but Air Force finished on an 11-6 run to get within 37-30 on a Todd Fletcher jumper.